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The Relevancy Of The Book Of Daniel For The Culture Of Today

The Book of Daniel is very relevant for our time. The first story begins in Daniel 1:3-8. “The king commanded…to bring some of the people of  Israel…youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years…Among these were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In reality, these four young men were being brainwashed into the culture of their time, just like what is being done to children and youth today in many of our public schools. And scripture doesn’t tell us what was wrong with the king’s food, but in a very important verse (8), Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself “ with the king’s food and drink. Application: Daniel made a choice right from the beginning to not give in to the culture of his day.

However, because of Daniel’s God-given gift to interpret dreams, the king promoted him and made him “ruler over the whole province of Babylon” (Dan 2:48). In his high position of authority, Daniel “made a request of the king, and appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego” also to high positions (Dan 2:49).

King Nebuchadnezzar made a decree stated in Dan 3:4-5. “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn [and other musical instruments], and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.” However, the king was told that “these men pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Dan 3:12). The king was ticked (my short translation) and ordered the three young men cast into a fiery furnace (Dan 3:20), but the government officials observed “that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men…no fire had come upon them” (Dan 3:27). They “yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God” (Dan 3:28). Application for today: Don’t give in to any godless edict or deception that requires one to give allegiance to. Think of government mandates! How much can Christians take the heat (pun intended) without giving in?

The second story of holding firm to one’s beliefs begins in Daniel 6:3“Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials…because an excellent spirit was found in him,” but they decided not to like him, so much so that they “sought to find a ground of complaint against Daniel with regard to his kingdom,” but they found none, “unless we find it in connection with the law of his God” (Dan 6:4-5). Sound familiar? Today Christians are being singled out because of our beliefs and seeking to be righteous. People love darkness rather than light.

So, it was agreed that “the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to, O king, shall be cast into the den of thieves” (Dan 6:7). What did Daniel do? Daniel 6:10 says, “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks to God, as he had done previously.”  He not only defied the ordinance, but made it very obvious, and did it three times a day! Application: This would be a really valuable spiritual discipline to practice, to take time out three times a day for prayer and thanksgiving.

Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den, but in the morning the king went to the den and heard Daniel proclaim, “My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me” (Dan 6:22).

The culture needs more Christians like these four young men. Sadly, many have fallen away from the faith. True Christians must remain steadfast in the coming months as so many things are coming down the track that can make us vulnerable to derailing our faith. We won’t be cast into a fiery furnace or lion’s den (at least in the civilized world) but backing down in the face of intense opposition is not an option. In Revelation 2:3 Jesus tells the church at Ephesus, “I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.” May that be said of you and me.

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks John-

    Love the book of Daniel. I enjoy it more each time I read it. The message is so prolific, and so relevant currently in the world that exists at this moment in time.

    Dedication and unwavering faith in the LORD and trusting He is in control – all that matters and the only way to survive these times and beyond.

    Thanks for a great article.

    God Bless~

  2. Working as a school chaplain I sometimes feel like I am facing the lions in the lion’s den!! Thanks sincerely for the encouragement John.

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